Mick Fitzgerald: My sweet seven tips for success at Leopardstown

ITV Racing’s star horse racing pundit is back to give us the lowdown on Irish Champion Stakes day at Leopardstown and he’s got saddle full of tips too…


The opener at 15:20 is a listed race for fillies and it is not often that you shy away from the big stables, but Paddy Twomey has a live one here with Foxtrot Liv.

She’s come forward with each run and now she has that experience under her belt, I reckon she can make it a special day for her handler.

This could be a messy race with so many young fillies in there, but she will use her past experience well.

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The 15:50 is a competitive affair and I was really impressed by Saracen Knight when he won at Naas and it’s no surprise he steps out here with a penalty.

Elsewhere, Sharjah won the Galway hurdle and is really interesting back on the level here.

The next at 16:25 is another race for juveniles over 7f. I was really impressed with Madhmoon when he won at Leopardstown, his turn of foot was impressive when he made a winning debut beating Sydney Opera House.

Broome is an intriguing one as Aidan O’Brien obviously feels he is worth a try here after disappointing at York.

The Paddy’s Rewards Club Stakes at 16:55 is a tough one at 1m 4f where Rostropovich is favourite.

However, last year US Army Ranger was all the rage after some very good runs and even though this Rostropovich should be winning it may pay to take a punt on Giuseppe Gariboldi to finally get it together and win one of these. He looks awkward, but this race may just be run to suit him.

The 17:25 Matron Stakes is a cracker with arguably the best three-year-old miler in the line-up.

Alpha Centauri has carried all before her this year and she was so impressive in the Prix Jacques Le Marois. The only worry is, has she had a tough season?

I want to see her win and do it in style, but can’t help but feel Happily could be the each-way bet in this race. It is very interesting that O’Brien has gone for blinkers on her.

The Boomerang Stakes (18:00) has three fairly closely matched horses in the betting, but I Can Fly can be marked up on her last outing as she got no run at all.

Donncha O’Brien was not hard on her and she will come forward from that.

She gets the nod here from Psychedelic Funk, who rarely runs a bad race for his team.

The Irish Champion Stakes at 18:35 has historically been one of the highest rated races of the season in Europe. It has the winners of the Guineas and the Juddmonte clashing yet again.

Throw in the French derby winner too for good measure. It will be a fascinating race to watch and Oisin Murphy will have to be wide awake here, plenty of very good horses have been unlucky losers in this one.

Roaring Lion has the pace to pounce late like Almanzor and last year’s winner Decorated Knight did.

It will be interesting to see what kind of plan the Ballydoyle camp have to try get Saxon Warrior to finish in front of Roaring Lion. I believe the confidence that Oisin is riding with at the moment will allow him to be brave on Roaring Lion and I can see him winning again.

Sheikh Fahad would love to win the race they sponsor and John Gosden has a pretty decent record in the race too. Rhodedendrum is a speculative each-way bet, as they will ride her to finish the race off well and nick a place.

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What do you think?